Anti-tobacco campaigners in Zambia on Monday reignited calls on the need for the government to raise tobacco taxes in order to control the abuse of tobacco products.
The campaigners want taxes on tobacco to be raised to more than 70 percent.
Muyunda Ililonga, Secretary of the Zambia Tobacco Control Consortium, an umbrella body of all organizations in tobacco control, said raising tobacco taxes has been proven to be an effective tool to discourage people, especially young people from abusing tobacco products.
“Our position is that raising tobacco taxes which leads to prices of tobacco products increasing is one of the best strategies to control tobacco use,” he told Xinhua.
According to him, it was unfortunate that young people were abusing tobacco products, adding that the anti-tobacco campaigners want to launch a campaign aimed at sensitizing young people born from 2010 to date against smoking.
He noted that tobacco firms were targeting young people in their promotion campaigns hence the need to counter such type of messages.
Last week, the Center for Trade Policy and Policy, a local think-tank, said as a signatory to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the country was mandated to take steps to increase tobacco taxes.
Chileshe Mange, the think-tank’s researcher for legal affairs, said the Zambian government should begin to take steps towards raising taxes on tobacco. Enditem